Manhattan’s Army Wife by Chloe Karmarck

BSF Executive Assistant Chloe Karmarck has written an amazing piece featured on Vogue.com. Chloe writes about her journey from Park Avenue to military fiance and why military service is so important.

Manhattan’s Army Wife by Chloe Karmarck for
Vogue.com

One recent morning, as I rode the elevator up to my office, a colleague noticed the diamond ring on my finger and proceeded to excitedly ask all the standard wedding questions: When? Labor Day weekend. Where? Cape Cod. Who? An Army officer. Suddenly, it was as if a cartoon thought bubble popped into the air above her head that read, “#!?*” She shifted slightly on her four-inch heels, and someone in the back of the crowded elevator coughed.

I went on.  He’s stationed in Alabama, and will be in the army for at least six years.  But here’s the real kicker: After the wedding, I’m moving to Daleville, Alabama—population 4,653.  Not accustomed to finding herself at a loss for words, this very polite young woman (and wife of a hedge-fund manager) finally rattled off a series of less-cheery questions. “But, why?” was followed by “So he supports the war?” and then she got to her point: “Is he a Republican?”

Had I said that my fiancé was joining Teach for America, I suspect my friend would have admired his decision and assumed his politics didn’t need inspecting.  At a time when “service” is as chic a concept as Michelle Obama’s J. Crew sensibility, organizations like the above and the Peace Corps have skyrocketed in both applications and prestige. Apparently, however, serving in the military still suffers from the negative image it was burdened with 40 years ago during the Vietnam War.  Kathy Roth-Douquet, who met her husband—a Marine One pilot—while serving in the Clinton White House, wrote a book in 2006 with Frank Schaeffer called AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from the Military and How It Hurts Our Country.  In it they noted that “not too long ago the sons of presidents, bankers, and oilmen regularly served. This was even true for members of powerful dynasties such as the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, the Sulzbergers (owners and publishers of the New York Times), and the Bushes. Now, however, not one grandchild from those powerful dynasties serves.”

After growing up on Park Avenue, I had always imagined…

Continue reading Manhattan’s Army Wife on Vogue.com.

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2 Responses

  1. What a great post. Hopefully the political lines will begin to blur a bit in the military. I told someone the other day that I am a Democrat and she looked at me with surprise. “I would have thought that a military wife would be a Republican.” I told her that we area small but growing group.
    I will say, that most people would rather serve their country in another way than getting shot at during repeated year-long deployments. It takes special people to volunteer to do that. And I am thankful for them.
    Congratulations on your marriage, Chloe. I hope you find a strong network of friends to support you when your husband deploys.
    And congratulations on getting published on Vogue.com.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a middle class Republican who never imagined my son would want to go into the military. He was studying to be an engineer in college and 23 yrs old when he made the announcement that he was signing up. It took me a little while to get used to the idea but I very quickly became his #1 supporter. I’m very proud of him and extremely thankful to every man and woman who gives of themselves to protect and serve our country.

    Congrats and blessings on your marriage and future. You both will be in my prayers. Good luck!

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